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(Serves Lots)

This is one pretty cake.  And great tasting too!  Fresh orange juice and zest in the creamy frosting are the perfect partners for a spicy carrot cake.  There’s even a little orange juice in the cake batter.  A great dessert for Easter.  You know, bunnies and carrots. 

Vegetable shortening and flour for dusting cake pans
1 package plain yellow cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots (5 medium carrots)
½ cup raisins (3 ounces)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (2 ounces)
Fresh orange cream cheese frosting

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable shortening.  Dust with flour and then shake out excess flour.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large bowl and blend with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  Stop mixer, scrape down sides, and increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more.
  3. Gently fold in carrots, raisins, and nuts with a rubber spatula.  Divide the batter between the two pans, smoothing out with a spatula.
  4. Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger – about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove pans from oven and place on racks for 10 minutes to cool.  Run a dinner knife around the edges of each layer and invert each onto a rack and then invert again so cakes are right side up.   Allow them to cool completely – about 30 minutes more.
  6. Frost cakes with fresh orange cream cheese frosting on reverse side when completely cooled.